Adventures in Shopping: Black Friday Haul

Hi Lovelies!

Whew! It’s been a long morning. I just got back in from my Black Friday Shopping, and am having a cup of coffee before I peruse the online shops.

I was going to make you a huge post of sales, but time just escaped me (I had a full 10 hour day at work yesterday…happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!) However, Marie Denee at the Curvy Fashionista has an awesome roundup of sales and deals for the curvy girl. Go here and look at the great deals!

Now, if you feel like you need to get out and get the blood circulating after yesterday’s meal, here are some of the deals I hit up today, most of which continue through the weekend.

Since I’m a bit clumsy, I have managed to break all of my wine glasses. And while there’s nothing wrong with sipping out of whatever cup you have handy, I figured I ought to have at least a couple of proper wine glasses for company. So, I went to Pier 1 Imports to find some nice glasses, and lo and behold they have a 30% off sale. So I got these:

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So pretty! I got two for about $12. It’s nice to have a couple of fancy glasses to show off. From there I went to Ulta. I swear I should own stock in the company! Anyhow, by the time I got there most of the doorbusters were gone, but I still was able to take advantage of the gift with purchase they had for fragrance:

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A five piece serving set! So now I have nice glasses and nice dishes for company. I picked up some Eternity Aqua, more nail glitters and rhinestones from Red Carpet Manicure, a lipstick in this screaming pink from Urban Decay, three OPI polishes (they were buy two, get one free!), a set of three (!) palettes from Stila (and the whole set was $30!), and one of the new (cheaper) nail pens from Sally Hansen (not pictured). I am working on a gold/white version of the 50 Shades of Grey manicure for a bride, so I’m hoping that first OPI on the left will do it! I’ll have the swatch of the new look soon.

And finally, I had to get some clothes. Old Navy has an awesome sale going on this weekend. Today everything in the store is 50% off (tomorrow is 40% if memory serves), so I went to get two wintertime staples: sweaters and leggings. I was not disappointed!

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I got 5 sweaters, 4 pairs of leggings, and a long sleeved shirt (not pictured) for under $100! Not a bad haul today. I am also super happy that people were being civil to one another today.

I can’t say I’m done shopping for the weekend just yet, though. Cyber Monday is coming, and I’m looking forward to the awesome deals there. Should I have time, I’ll do a post with coupon codes for y’all. Until then, stay beautiful!

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Makeup Looks Nail Adventures Shopping

Nail Adventures: Ombre Nails

Hi Lovelies!

I feel as though I was going to do an ombre nail look for ComicCon this year, and that never worked out. I ended up getting sick and needed something simpler to do.

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US (hi to my international readers!), so I figured I’d do something nice for the day. I’m not celebrating since I’ll be working (:|) but since my dinner is cooking away, why not do something to fill the time? Besides housework, of course.

I gathered all of my tools and got to work. I used CoverGirl Outlast Glosstinis in Rogue Red (it looks more orange on me), Revlon Colorstay in Velvet Rope, and Julep in Autumn, an awesome orange and bronze glitter.

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Now: let’s talk technique. I found this awesome and well documented technique over at The Nailasaurus. And I’m thinking, shucks, this can’t be that hard. I can do this.

Oh, man. I can’t do that. I tried the type of sponge she had, I tried a cosmetic wedge…I just managed to get polish everywhere and no ombre! So, how did I end up with this awesome result?

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I’m sure it’s a way many bloggers and nail artists have come up with, but the simplicity of how I did this made me giggle. So, I did two coats of my base color (the CoverGirl shade), and let it dry. Then I took the Revlon and painted from the center of the nail to the tip, and then…and this is key…I quickly painted the CoverGirl shade over it while it was still slightly wet. And look at that, an ombre! The color still being slightly wet is key to getting it to blend, otherwise you’ll get a look like this from the Beauty Department. It’s gorgeous, of course, but if you want more blending, you’ll need to do this while it’s still wet. It also helps that the CoverGirl shade is sheer at first coat, so it helps to blend without overpowering (I can’t speak to how this technique works with more opaque colors…at least not yet.)

And there we have it! I love this look, and hope to replicate it with some other colors. Now for sleep, and maybe I’ll put up a roundup of Black Friday sales later on tonight (a quickie: Ulta is having a nice doorbuster sale starting at midnight!) Until then, stay beautiful!

Nail Adventures

Quick Hit: Selfie in New Lipstick!

Hi Lovelies!

Expect a Thanksgiving nail look tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to show off my new lipstick I told y’all about a few days ago:

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I couldn’t be bothered to edit out the lens glare from my glasses. 🙂  It amazes me how much I love this lipstick on my lips, and not as fond of the same color on my nails. But it’s definitely a color I’ll be rocking this winter.

Currently working on my manicure. Stay tuned to my Instagram for first pics! Until then, stay beautiful!

Makeup Looks Shopping

Nail Adventures: Scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip With Sprinkles

Hey Lovelies!

I showed you my awesome stash of polishes yesterday, and I thought, well…I am now up to 34 Julep polishes. Maybe I should use them now!

I should note it is ridiculously late where I am, and I ought to be in bed sleeping because work. But nails are so much more fun!

Ahem.

Today’s manicure was all Julep:

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That’s Faye, Shenae, and Geo. Geo was featured yesterday as one of my brand new additions to the collection. The results?

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I did Shenae on 8 nails, and did Faye on my ring fingers. I used my dotting tool to put random polka dots of Faye all over 8 fingers. Then, I drew a wide stripe of Shenae down my ring fingers, and topped that off with Geo. I wish the camera could pick up on the 3D depth of the glitter stripe. Love!

Minty green is a color that is right on the line of the brights that I love and the pales I leave alone. It makes me happy.

I’ve got some studying to do, so now that I’ve indulged my habit, I’m gonna get on that now. 🙂 Until next time, stay beautiful!

Nail Adventures

Nail Adventures: Julep Mystery Box

Hi my lovelies!

I’ve professed my love for  Julep on many occasions. For the Julep Mavens, we have the opportunity to get the monthly Mystery Box. This month’s theme is Diamonds, and for good reason:

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These are the stars of the Diamond Mystery Box: Antonia (left) and Geo (right). Bright, sparkly, holographic glitters with diamond shaped chunks and fine glitter together. Antonia is a pink and Geo is a blue. Here’s a full look of what came:

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What you see there is the entire mystery box, plus the mystery add on and the Hand Model add on.  And here’s a closer look at all the stuff I got:

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The Hand Model kit comes with the Glycolic hand scrub, the Rock Star hand creme (which smells amazing!) and the oxygenating nail treatment. The nail treatment promises to strengthen weak, thin nails while allowing the nail to breathe. Now, y’all know I love my Millionails…so I’ll try it and report back. Next up is the Double Step, an anti friction stick for the feet. I use it for chub rub during the summer (it came in a previous box), so I am super excited to have another stick! Double Step is sitting on top of the Moisture Mask Trio, three masks for the nails, hands, and feet. I also got a small pink muslin bag, the Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting (not too sweet, not too tart), and an eyelash curler.

But y’all came here for the polish, right? Let’s get to it!

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I got 9 colors in this box. With the mystery box, you only know of the main event colors (example: every box this month has Geo and Antonia in there), but everything else is a surprise! From left to right: Candace, Karen, Eva, Lois, Lucy, Karmen, and Adele. Three of these were repeats for me, so my bestie got a lovely treat!

All in all, this was a great value for $45. Yes, seriously! And shipping was free! You know I’m working on a look that will incorporate my new swag!

Nail post coming soon. Until then, stay beautiful!

Nail Adventures Retail Therapy

Quick Hit: New Lipstick!

Hi Lovelies!

I am typing this while sipping on my coffee, trying to figure out my makeup for the day.

And then I remembered: I have new lipstick!

I tend to not fool with lipstick so much, as I love to change lip color often. I tend to stay with gloss because that’s easier to switch out during the day.

And then, I met this:

CargoBordeaux

That there is the new Cargo Essential Lip Color in Bordeaux and it is fabulous! High pigment, creamy feeling and moisturizing (I have the flakiest lips ever so this is a huge plus), and it lasts for hours.

Ok. I have to be out the door to work in about 10 minutes, so let me finish my coffee (and makeup) and get moving. Until next time, stay beautiful!

Disclaimer: the company I work for sells this item. However, I was not compensated for this review nor did I receive the product for free. It’s just that fabulous! 

Makeup Looks Retail Therapy Shopping

My Favorite Manicure Products

Hi Lovelies!

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post, I just want to thank all of you that liked and commented on my 50 Shades nail post, and to thank my new followers. The love is so appreciated! 😀

Now, it’s no secret to anyone that’s been reading for a while that I have a bit of a passion for nail polish.

No, really:

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Granted, these were pictures taken at the beginning of the year. Since then I’ve joined Julep, and so the collection grew:

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Ahem. My name’s Char, and I’m a nail polish addict.

So, what’s my favorite brand of nail polish? It might surprise you that I genuinely don’t have one! I love to try new brands, and if I find one I love, I’ll put money in the nail budget to purchase it. I’m a fan of Julep because of the variety of color and texture. I love OPI for innovation (you can see my myriad of Shatter polishes in the first pic, and while texture isn’t my thing, I do have a Liquid Sand polish too), I love Essie for nail treatments (Millionails, anyone?) I can’t say I’ve tried any indie brands (put some suggestions in the comments!); the closest would be the polishes from Tini Beauty. If you love to layer and mix colors without that weird gummy thickness on your nails, they’re the brand to try (disclosure: the company I work for sells this product, but I am not being compensated to do this testimonial. They’re just that great.)

As to nail tools, when it comes to detailing brushes and dotting tools, I use the ones from Red Carpet Manicure:

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I use the detail brush and cleanup brush the most, but I am working on a look using the dotting tool (the one pictured has two sides) to show y’all soon. The applicator brush (clear handle) has a straight edge, and this is what I use to do my French Mani looks. The other end is slanted to use as a scoop, and that’s what I used to apply the chunky glitter in the 50 Shades post.

I also love the Sally Hansen nail pens for detailing, but you know, you could always use the superfine tipped Sharpie markers too. Economical and pretty!

Base Coat: I alternate between Essie’s Millionails for strengthening and Tini Beauty’s Simple Syrup. Simple Syrup (not just for drinks!) has a slightly tacky feel to it when it’s dry. I find that if I really need a manicure to last for a while, I’ll do Simple Syrup first to insure my polish doesn’t budge. Millionails I use when I’m giving my nails a break from color (it’s glossy alone), or just as a buffer when I’m doing test runs on looks.

Top Coat: my favorite is the Sally Hansen InstaDri. I have used Seche Vite in the past, and I’ve found I pick up stains on my nails easier and that my brighter colors go a bit yellow when I do. Maybe I had a bad batch? Not sure, but Sally Hansen works wonders for me. I did get a bottle of Julep’s Polymer Top Coat when I bought a set of colors from them. I’ll try it and give y’all the verdict.

And there you have it! Some of the products I love to use to create my looks. I’ll have some new looks ready for you a little later on this week, as class is calling! Until then, stay beautiful!

Nail Adventures